Idaho’s lieutenant governor announced Wednesday his plans to run for the same office in 2014. Brad Little made the announcement during an outdoor event in his hometown of Emmett.
The news ends speculation that Little was preparing for a run for governor. Idaho’s current governor, C.L. "Butch" Otter, attended Little’s announcement. Otter has said he plans to run for re-election in 2014, but has not officially kicked off a campaign.
Little will now visit various Idaho cities over the next two weeks.
Boise State University political science emeritus Jim Weatherby says he was not surprised by Little’s plans.
“What the lieutenant governor is doing is all about running for governor,” says Weatherby. “It’s just not now but probably in 2018.”
Weatherby is a longtime observer of Idaho politics and says he doesn’t remember a sitting lieutenant governor ever embarking a statewide tour like the one Little is starting. But Weatherby says it’s a smart move.
“Brad Little is well known in the Treasure Valley but not as well known around the rest of the state, even though he has been lieutenant governor for five years,” he says. “He still has to introduce himself to a lot of Idahoans.”
It remains to be seen if the Republican will have a challenger for May’s primary. Weatherby says considering his politics, it’s possible Little gets challenged from the right.
“By Idaho standards he is a somewhat centrist Republican,” Weatherby notes. “He clearly is not an ideologue, therefore is not a favorite of the Tea Party and some of the farther right members of the Republican Party.”
Little was appointed lieutenant governor in 2009. He was elected to the office in 2010.
Copyright 2013 Boise State Public Radio